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US police brutality prosecutions increasing: report

[JURIST] US federal prosecutions and convictions of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality have significantly increased in recent years, USA Today reported Tuesday, citing unspecified US Department of Justice statistics. The figures indicated that prosecutions for the use of excessive force or other violations of victims' civil rights had risen 25 percent from 224 to 281 in 2001-2007 compared to the previous seven-year period. The DOJ also said that convictions were up 53 percent when compared to the earlier period - 391 compared with 256. USA Today has more.

In a 1998 report [HRW materials] Human Rights Watch called police brutality "one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States." HRW maintains an archive of letters and press releases from advocacy groups on the subject, and has recently raised concerns over prisons affected by Hurricane Katrina [letter] and the use of attack dogs in US prisons [press release].

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